I have been reading science fiction and fantasy books for as long as I can remember. I am sure there are a lot of us who can say that because it turns out there are a lot of us geeks. You know who we are: not popular, not good at sports, not very social. Books were our life and that never stopped being the case.
As I have gotten older I have branched out to many types of books, but science fiction and fantasy in all its forms has always been my mainstay. In fact, I grew so enamored of it that I started attending conventions, working at conventions, have a room dedicated to geek fandom as well as my office being filled with geek toys. You know how it is, you love it, you love it all the way.
My new step this year was to become a voting member for the Hugo Awards. I am thrilled to have finally been a part of it. And what’s more, the convention itself was not far from my own home, so attending was also in the cards this year. WorldCon74 was held in KC, MO.
(BTW KC is great but that’s a separate post.)
Attending the world’s oldest science fiction convention has its pluses and minuses like anything does. I didn’t know anyone there and geeky people are not known for being easy to friend. Despite my efforts I didn’t do so well making new friends. But that’s okay. The panels were amazing and filled with great advice and world class writers. The Dealer’s Room took a lot of my money for books and gifts for friends. I checked out parties, the art show, a Paul and Storm performance (and I got to meet them!), a John Scalzi reading (which was remarkably fun), and of course I attended the Hugo Awards ceremony.
I knew going into it that there had been drama around the awards for the last couple of years. It was more than a little unnerving that there was strife in the community. That it was aimed particularly at women and people of color, different religions and countries is frustrating since to me Science Fiction is the place where all walks of life, no matter how different, are accepted by each and every one of us (HELLO STAR TREK).
A lot of the female writers especially have been enduring an endless amount of harassment. As someone who is seeking to become a full time writer and has dealt with plenty of sexism and harassment at other jobs, I was more than a bit wary.
However, women won big this year and that was truly inspiring. The community on the whole stood behind them and their amazing talent, myself included. The night of the Awards I was quite proud, plus Pat Cadigan was a funny, funny host. There is plenty of fallout from certain overly privileged people whom I refuse to acknowledge, but the winners are holding their own against them and it doesn’t change that they did amazing work and got the recognition they deserve.
The decriers rather baffle me as it’s not like there haven’t always been women writers or gay people or people of other races (besides white). They’ve ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF OUR WORLD. And them being here and also writing and getting recognition doesn’t detract from other good writers. The idea that it does is quite puzzling. Truly it does not even serve their best interest because people get bored reading the same old stuff all the time and if you turn people off to books, you turn them off to ALL books. Which means NO ONE IS BUYING ANYBODY’S BOOKS, which totally sucks.
Anyway, they don’t matter. The complainers are a group of hate-spreading opportunists growing ever smaller, most of whom just rile up who they can to get money out of them. There will likely always be a few of them, but hopefully they will join the rest of us here in the real world full of good books and many engaging voices.
A few snaps from my trip: